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LDS Man Discovers Mammoth Tusk While Digging on His Property

by | Aug. 10, 2016

FunMormon Life

Kasey Keller made a mammoth find while digging on his property in Preston, Idaho.

Keller was digging in his gravel pit for gravel to spread around the asphalt he had poured on his property.  

At first, Keller said he thought he had hit a piece of pipe or a section of petrified wood. But when he started to realize it was bone, he called in an expert from Utah State University to take a look.

Keller says he grew up with an interest in fossils and suspected the bone could be belong to a mammoth. 

"My family thought I was joking," he says. "I'm always joking about finding a fossil so they really didn't believe me at the time."

But this time, Keller was right.

The bone was a three-and-a-half foot section of Columbian mammoth tusk, a find Keller admitted was almost too good to be true. 

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Photo courtesy Kasey Keller

Experts from Brigham Young University and USU both took pieces of the tusk for carbon-dating to determine how old the mammoth tusk is, which could be anywhere between 12,000–15,000 years old.

Known to reach the height of 12 to 15 feet tall, Columbian mammoths roamed much of North America before becoming extinct and are known for their large, spiraling tusks.

The USU expert told Keller this mammoth likely roamed the Lake Bonneville grasslands and that it is likely the only reported mammoth remains in Cache Valley. 

The tusk was also placed in a mold to prevent further damage while excavating it and transporting it to BYU, where Keller said experts are working to preserving the remains. 

Once that process is finished, the tusk will be returned to Keller, who says he plans on sharing his incredible find with others. 

Photo courtesy Kasey Keller